The impact of exercise on physical and mental well-being
Regular physical exercise is beneficial to the body on a long-term basis. Most experts believe that healthy eating enhances the health of the body. However, recent research indicates that healthy eating has to be in tandem with physical exercises in order to ensure that the body systems function best. Regular physical exercises ensure that the body is able to manage heart diseases and other ailments such as diabetes.
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By engaging in physical exercises, an individual is able to enhance his or her chances of living longer, while keeping diseases at bay. Additionally, physical exercises ensure that blood lipid patterns are kept at a minimum (Langlois, 2013). Although heart diseases are usually associated with lack of physical exercises, staying active also ensures that the body effectively manages all kinds of diseases. For instance, people can be protected against high blood pressure and breast cancer if they take physical exercises as routine.
Exercise and Mental Health
Apart from physical exercises ensuring the long-term health of an individual through overcoming diseases, the mental health of the individual also improves. Physical activity ensures the release of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals maintain a relaxation atmosphere in the body. The aspect of relaxing the mind raises the self-esteem of a person because it increases self-confidence (Langlois, 2013). People who spend most of their time in the office usually develop stress. Involving in physical exercise provides the individual with an opportunity to relieve stress. Physical exercises increase norepinephrine concentration (Penedo & Dahn, 2009). This chemical empowers the brain to effectively respond to stress. Penedo and Dahn (2009) acknowledge how the increased temperature through physical exercise helps to reduce tension within the muscles. This leads to relaxation that overcomes stress. An additional benefit of working out is that it increases the concentration of the mind. Studies have shown that exercises boost sleep, while at the same time helping people who are suffering from depression.
The natural tendency of the body to treat depression can also be envisaged through the increased secretion of endorphins due to physical exercises. Experts such as Penedo and Dahn (2009) state that hormones secreted by the brain during heavy physical exercise reduce depression to greater levels. The authors state that exercise is an effective antidepressant. This signifies that individuals who perform regular physical exercises would not need to use antidepressant pills for treating depression. Individuals who have had difficulties in sleeping would find regular exercises to be effective mechanisms to induce sleep. Research shows that regular exercises usually help individuals to fall sleep faster, and maintain the duration of sleep for a longer period.
Control of Body Weight, Bones, and Muscles
Individuals who habitually involve in physical exercises seldom have challenges with controlling their body weight. Most adult American citizens usually add weight, and this makes them susceptible to illness such as arthritis, stroke, and breathing complications (PHC, 2012). The excess energy that compiles within the body can be reduced through physical exercises. It is important that adults involve in exercises that are more physical in order to maintain their weight. In particular, it is important that fat be converted into muscles.
In order to maintain muscles, regular physical exercises are mandatory, because they also reduce the tendency to develop fractures. A study performed on older people in a Liverpool community indicated that Muscles and bones benefit through physical exercises because they become strong (PHC, 2012). Therefore, for older people, it is quite necessary for them to develop strong bones through performing exercises such as weight lifting, walking and running. This can help them to lower their chances of developing osteoporosis; an ailment that is associated with old people.
How Physical Exercises Reduce Lung Cancer
Research undertaken by the American association of cancer research (2006) indicated that physical exercises reduce lung cancer. In particular, the report by Aacr (2006) suggests that women who smoke and involve in physical exercises can enjoy a reduced risk of developing lung cancer. In general, it appears that a physically active smoker has lesser chances of developing lung cancer compared to a sedentary smoker (Aacr 2006). Aacr (2006) further adds that both male and female smokers who have tried and failed in quitting smoking would find physical exercises as an effective option to reduce their susceptibility to developing lung cancer. Thune (2011) supports this argument by arguing that physical exercises usually reduce the prevalence of lung cancer in men and women by 20-50% and 20-30% respectively. Moreover, research has proved that physical exercises usually improve pulmonary functions while reducing the concentration of carcinogenic agents in the lungs (Andersen, 2011). This increases the immune functioning of the body while at the same time enhancing DNA repair capacity (Thune 2011).
Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
Many people know the importance of physical exercises in reducing cardiovascular diseases. The aspect of consuming a high calorie diet devoid of any physical exercises ensures that the body accumulates cholesterol (Cdc, 2014). This cholesterol is responsible for heart diseases. Although many experts have argued that it is important to maintain a low calorie diet, regular physical exercises usually help the body to adjust to a low calorie diet. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that irrespective of an individual’s body weight, staying active usually boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The center further stipulates that good exercise normally results in the smooth flow of blood, an aspect that reduces the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Citizens do not value physical exercises because of the belief that they are strenuous. However, it is recommended that just a few minutes of walking can have a great effect on the health of the body. A 30-minute walk that is done on a regular basis can have a greater effect of preventing cardiovascular diseases. In essence, it is always better to start the habit of having a daily walk early, rather than waiting for the onset of diseases. In the medical field, exercises not only help in preventing and diminishing cardiovascular diseases, but also ensure that an individual looks younger and fitter (Cdc, 2014).
How Physical Exercises Enhance Endurance and Intimacy
Little research has however been done to ascertain how exercise can benefit the endurance of an individual. For instance, physical exercise increases the strength of the body, thus making it easier to overcome challenging tasks. This is achieved through the increased volumes of oxygen that is pumped into the tissues. This delivers enormous energy that is never accessed through the sedentary state. Consistent energy within the body is therefore an assurance of stamina that makes it easier to go through the daily chores of life (Cdc, 2014).
Physical intimacy can also receive a boost if couples can choose to involve in regular physical exercises. The fact that an individual feels energized after going through physical exercise is an indication that couples can easily rejuvenate their intimacy through working out (Cdc, 2014). In particular, women who regularly involve in physical exercises usually enjoy enhanced arousal. For men, sexual challenges such as erectile dysfunction can be overcome through regular physical exercises.
Physical Benefits Through Socialization
The physical health of the body depends on a variety of factors. The aspect of maintaining strong social ties with friends and families usually helps to keep the mind and the body in the best state. In this sense, physical activity enhances the overall happiness of people through the fun associated with it. The social setting that is associated with physical exercise ensures that individuals remove the habitual boredom associated with the formal environment (Cdc, 2014). For instance, dancing classes and soccer teams are excellent settings through which people can enjoy, gain new friends, and try something new that may have an economic benefit.
The Role that the State can Play
Physical exercises serve many functions. This signifies that the State can play its rightful role in ensuring that citizens can become healthy through working out. In the American and UK situations, the state can provide a comprehensive physical activity program in order to improve physical exercises among citizens. Currently, deaths from chronic diseases among Americans and Britons are high. These deaths could have been avoided if the respective countries could have unveiled programs that would have encouraged citizens to involve in more exercises that are physical (Alderman, 2009).
Therefore, states have a strategic role in ensuring compliance to physical exercises. Evidence suggests that America has half a million deaths in a year resulting from physical inactivity (Macera, 2010). In this regard, the state can encourage increased physical activity to sedentary subgroups and populations. This would be achieved through measures such as community wide campaigns that target a diverse audience. Programs that target individuals can also help to enhance behavioral change. For instance, the State can come up with reward systems in order to celebrate the achievements that have been made by people who have taken up physical exercises and posted excellent results.
Cases of obesity in the UK are on the increase among school going children, and this is setting a bad precedent for their future. The country can intervene in this situation through establishing public policies that encourage physical exercises. For instance, school based physical education (PE) programs are good examples (Pate, 2006). Such programs would ensure that a curriculum of vigorous physical exercises is esteemed and followed strictly. School administrators would be required to increase the amount of time allocated to physical activities (Alderman, 2009).
States can also increase civil education initiatives that can be used to change cultural attitudes towards physical activity and obesity. People usually associate an increased body weight with prosperity, and those with lean bodies are regarded as being unhealthy. Such mindsets usually encourage people to eat high calorie foods while making them to lead a sedentary lifestyle. State interventions would therefore encourage citizens to involve in physical exercises while disregarding such retrogressive cultures. The US government may also invest in zoning, in which government policy can make it mandatory for people to involve in physical activities. (Pate, 2006). These programs would ensure that citizens use stairs rather than elevators when making movements in tall buildings.
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Physical exercises play a distinct role in ensuring the physical and mental well being of citizens. Apart from diminishing the prevalence of diseases, physical exercises help one to overcome depression and stress. People who perform physical exercises also live longer compared to those who seldom perform them. The state has an important role in establishing policies and interventions that can promote physical exercises. School going children can benefit more through programs such as physical education (PE).
Aacr. ( 2006, December 11). Exercise Can Reduce a Smoker’s Lung Cancer Risk, but Quitting Smoking Is Still Most Important. Retrieved from http://www.aacr.org/home/public–media/aacr-press-releases/press-releases-2006.aspx?d=699
Alderman, B. (2009). Enhancing Motivation in Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance , 77 (2), 1-1.
Andersen, A. (2011). Do patients with lung cancer benefit from physical exercise? Acta Oncologica , 50 (2), 307 – 313.
Cdc. (2014). Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html?s_cid=tw_ob387
Langlois, F. (2013). Benefits of physical exercise training on cognition and quality of life in frail older adults. The journals of gerontology , 68 (3), 1079-5014.
Macera, C. A. (2010). Promoting Healthy Eating and Phyisical Activity for a Healthier Nation. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/publications/pdf/pp-ch7.pdf
Pate, R. R. (2006). Promoting Physical Activity in Children and Youth. Retrieved from : http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/114/11/1214.full
Penedo, & Dahn, F. a. (2009). Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current opinion in psychiatry , 18 (2), 189 – 193.
PHC. (2012). Benefits of physical exercise for older people confirmed. Primary Health Care , 22 (8), 7.
Thune, E. (2011). Physical activity and lung cancer prevention. Recent Results Cancer Research , 186, 101-133.
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Exercise reduces the probability of cardiovascular disease a leading killer disease in some countries in the developed world. It also helps keep obesity at bay and enables people across the age divide to maintain flexibility and independence over their lives. Exercise is also beneficial for mental well being in that it reduces the risk of getting depression.
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